Lonely Planet Writer

Cold-war crocodile offspring return to Cuba

The Cuban crocodile.
The Cuban crocodile. Image by Gerry Zambonini / CC BY-SA 2.0

A zoo in Stockholm, Sweden, is sending ten Cuban crocodile babies back to their motherland to help revive endangered populations of the local species in Cuba. The parents of the crocodile babies were originally gifted to a Soviet cosmonaut by Fidel Castro, who kept them in his flat in Moscow before giving them to the local zoo, which then gave them to the Swedish zoo as it had a more appropriate habitat in which to keep them. More than 40 years after their parents left Cuba, the croc babies are set to be reintroduced to the Zapata Swamp in Cuba’s Matanzas Province, near Varadero resort. The Cuban crocodile now only exists in two swamps in Cuba, threatened by habitat loss, illegal hunting and interbreeding with American crocodiles. Read more: theguardian.com